Allan Cutler, Sean Bruyea and Ian Bron
A stalwart champion for whistleblowers and the laws to protect them is stepping down. Wrongdoers, especially those in government and their apathetic allies in oversight may think they can take a breather. They may not have long to rest.
There are only two organizations that focus on whistleblowing in Canada – the Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform (FAIR), and Canadians for Accountability (C4A). FAIR became a powerhouse of advocacy under David Hutton’s direction. David has recently announced he is stepping down.
Prior to FAIR, David was already an expert in management systems and organizational change. A senior executive inindustry, he later led a successful consulting practice for 20 years, publishing two authoritative books on quality management. David took over as Executive Director of FAIR in 2008.
David Hutton worked arduously to build FAIR. He created the website from scratch compiling more than 3,000 pages of valuable whistleblower resource material. David produced original reference works such as “The Whistleblower Ordeal” and “How Wrongdoers Operate”. Most frustrating for government was David’s thorough analyses of Canada’s disturbingly weak whistleblower laws and the frequent lame duck operations of the office entrusted to enforce them, the Integrity Commissioner. Kady O’Malley, prolific political journalist, aptly billed FAIR’s website as the “most dangerous website in Ottawa.” Sadly, since David’s departure, FAIR’s website remains down.… Read the rest
Posted by Ian Bron on July 22, 2014
Better statutory protection for whistleblowers, an enhanced focus by law enforcement on domestic bribery,and public agencies introducing strict sanctions for corruption offenders are among 11 recommendations included in a report released on December 9, 2013, by Transparency International Canada (TI-Canada) for the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) Implementation Review.
The report was prepared by TI-Canada with input from non government organizations. Efforts were made to obtain information for the report from government offices and to engage in dialogue with government; a draft of the report was provided to the federal government.
“Canada has taken steps to meet its obligations under UNCAC, which we signed in 2004 and ratified in 2007,” said Peter Dent, President and Chair of TI-Canada. “However, as this carefully researched report reveals, the public and private sector can and must do a great deal more to eliminate the corrupt practices which harm us all.”
In particular, the TI-Canada report notes that Canada should ensure adequate statutory protection for whistleblowers, within both the public and private sectors. This would require the federal government to amend the Criminal Code and all levels of Canadian governments to introduce more robust legislative protection for whistleblowers in the private sector.
All provinces and territories should also have whistleblower protection statutes in place for both public and private sector employees.… Read the rest
Posted by Ian Bron on December 13, 2013
In August of this year, the following piece appeared in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday. It calls for new whistleblower protections in that country, and quotes our President, Allan Cutler, extensively. It also draws on the knowledge of Transparency International and the experiences of the U.S. whistleblowing regimes. It is followed by an op-ed by Allan.
ONE of the most direct methods of exposing corruption is whistleblowing. Unfortunately, whistle-blowers commonly face retaliation in the form of harassment, firing, blacklisting, threats and even physical violence, and their disclosures are routinely ignored.
Transparency International (TI) believes that the individual right to freedom of expression includes the right to identify acts of wrongdoing – both in government and in private companies. In addition to this basic right the simple fact is that people who step forward to disclose wrongdoing – particularly when public safety, health or resources are at stake – should be acknowledged and protected, not punished and ostracised.
Transparency International defines whistleblowing as the disclosure of information about a perceived wrongdoing in an organisation, or the risk thereof, to individuals or entities believed to be able to effect action. In some countries, blowing the whistle can carry high personal risk – particularly when there is little legal protection.… Read the rest
Posted by Ian Bron on December 1, 2012